When You Asked Me If I Think We're Ready For Children

by Lincoln Ballif

You’d be disturbed by how many snakes surround
you. Slumbering in the woodpile, pulling along gopher
holes beneath the apartment. Were their habitats reversed,
maybe we’d see there are as many snakes as birds. Can you
picture them gathering in twisted nests in the maples?
Can you hear the morning song of their tongues? What
we should do is rake all the snakes into one big
hole, swash them in oil, torch them till the ashes gather
so thick upon the porches, they have to close the schools.
We’ll swan into mounds of flaking leaves, right to the center,
to the warmest spot of earth without a thought for
what used to coil there. Maybe then we’ll give it a go.

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